wad·​dle | \ ˈwä-dᵊl How to pronounce waddle (audio) \
waddled; waddling\ ˈwäd-​liŋ How to pronounce waddling (audio) , ˈwä-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of waddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to walk with short steps swinging the forepart of the body from side to side
2 : to move clumsily in a manner suggesting a waddle



Definition of waddle (Entry 2 of 2)

: an awkward clumsy swaying gait

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Other Words from waddle


waddler \ ˈwäd-​lər How to pronounce waddler (audio) , ˈwä-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for waddle

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of waddle in a Sentence

Verb He waddled down the hallway. A fat goose waddled across the yard.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When the ramp descended, out waddled one black pig, which sniffed around curiously before 79 others disembarked. Carolyn Jung, SFChronicle.com, "For the first time, Spain’s prized Iberian pigs being raised in California," 22 Oct. 2019 Our goose can do the aforementioned honk and also waddle — more of a try-not-to-love me sashay, actually — and use a nimble, elongated neck to pry radio wires free or hide under a table. Los Angeles Times, "What to play: ‘Untitled Goose Game’ gives us the rebel superhero we need — a goose," 28 Sep. 2019 This is BeeJay, a 26-pound (!!!) tabby from the Philadelphia's Morris Animal Refuge who waddled to internet fame after the shelter posted photos in the hopes of someone adopting him. Aj Willingham, CNN, "A baby in Parliament, a new cat celebrity and the most wholesome choir ever," 24 Aug. 2019 Playing to those with mouth sound ASMR triggers, this video features different turtles waddling up to a microphone to nosh on the food held beside the gadget. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Turtle ASMR Is Here With All the Tingly, Soothing Chomps You Need to Relax," 22 Aug. 2019 More than 20 bird species, including colonies of puffins, the sight of them waddling over the rocks makes for a delightful photo — live around the cliffs. Shivani Vora, Washington Post, "Skip the much-visited Irish cliffs for taller, less-touristed crags," 15 Aug. 2019 Life on land On land, penguins have an upright stance and tend to waddle, hop, or run with their bodies angled forward. Elissa Nuñez, National Geographic, "Penguins," 16 Aug. 2019 Shingleback lizards, with shiny black scales resembling medieval armor and garish blue tongues, waddled onto the road. David Maurice Smith, Smithsonian, "A 42,000-Year-Old Man Finally Goes Home," 23 Aug. 2019 Atlantic puffins, with their colorful beaks and waddling walks, are one of New England’s best recognized seabirds. Patrick Whittle, The Denver Post, "Puffins fill up nesting islands this year despite challenges," 5 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Throughout the number, the canned plant waddles like a curious infant learning her own body. Los Angeles Times, "‘Little Shop of Horrors’ in Pasadena: Secrets of a radically reconceived Audrey II," 17 Oct. 2019 For the waddle: Cut a small pieces of licorice in a L shape and stick one on a side of the nose. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make the Cutest Thanksgiving Cake Pops," 28 Aug. 2019 Mace said rangers managed to extract the birds from under the store’s freezer and put them in a special nesting box on the harbor, which is about a 200-meter (660-foot) waddle from the store. Washington Post, "Nesting penguins can’t resist lure of New Zealand sushi shop," 18 July 2019 Crowe doesn't impersonate Ailes so much as inhabit him, from his padded waddle to his thunderous bouts of anger. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Loudest Voice' makes noise with damning portrait of Roger Ailes," 26 June 2019 As penguins squawk in the background and waddle around on small ridges, Boehme and his team look for seals to tag with sensors that will track the layer of warm water that’s thought to be melting Thwaites. Stephen Witt, WIRED, "Fitted With Sensors, Antarctic Seals Track Water Temperatures," 25 June 2019 Their striking appearance and jaunty waddles spark endless fascination among wildlife watchers and zoogoers alike. National Geographic, "How penguins show their smarts," 25 Apr. 2019 Think about it: a plastic flamingo donning a waddle and autumnal plumage could cause someone to mistake it for an actual turkey. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "You Can't Be In A Fowl Mood After Seeing These Thanksgiving Flamingos," 28 Sep. 2018 Each time a turtle reached the water — after a 25-yard waddle down the beach — onlookers cheered until its hind flippers slipped out of sight. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "Five loggerhead sea turtles return to ocean after 6 months at aquarium hospital," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'waddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of waddle


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1691, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for waddle


frequentative of wade

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Statistics for waddle

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for waddle

The first known use of waddle was in 1592

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More Definitions for waddle


How to pronounce waddle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of waddle

: to walk with short steps while moving from side to side like a duck


wad·​dle | \ ˈwä-dᵊl How to pronounce waddle (audio) \
waddled; waddling

Kids Definition of waddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to walk with short steps swaying like a duck



Kids Definition of waddle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a way of walking by taking short steps and swaying from side to side

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More from Merriam-Webster on waddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for waddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waddle

Spanish Central: Translation of waddle

Nglish: Translation of waddle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on waddle

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a calculated move

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